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Author Topic:   2005 E-TEC 3.3-Liter NMEA 2000 Network Compatibility
DeeVee posted 03-07-2014 10:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for DeeVee   Send Email to DeeVee  
I recently acquired new Garmin electronics that are NMEA 2000 network compatible. Is my 2005 3.3 liter Etec able to connect to a NMEA 2000 network? I would like to display engine data on the new plotter.

Thank you,

Doug Vazquez
Shelton, WA

seahorse posted 03-08-2014 05:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     
Your engine is NMEA2000 compatible.

Refer to the reference information on this site for explanations, installation hints, and how-it-works to educate yourself about E-TECs and NMEA2000.

jimh posted 03-08-2014 07:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Quoting myself:

In model year 2005 and newer, E-TEC engines of 115 to 300-HP have NMEA-2000.


Doug--Your nine-year-old 2005 E-TEC has NMEA-2000, as it was far ahead of the game and was one of the first, if not the first outboard to have NMEA-2000. See the above article for details of its connection. You'll need a NMEA-2000 starter kit, and the Lowrance or Evinrude special drop cable for the E-TEC.

The Garmin network wiring Network-T connectors are not identical to the Lowrance or Evinrude ones. The Garmin Network-T connectors will mate with the Lowrance or Evinrude connector, but if you want to make a daisy-chain of Network-T connectors, the two brands do not align at the same angle.

Also, there are some new products for NMEA-2000 wiring. There is a four-port network junction box that might be handy for areas around the helm where four network drops might be needed.

You'll have fun with the engine data from the E-TEC on your Garmin display.

jimh posted 03-08-2014 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Regarding the display device: just because the display device has a NMEA-2000 connection does not mean the display can show all the data from all sources. Being a certified NMEA-2000 device just means the device can be connected to a NMEA-2000 network and not cause trouble.

The E-TEC engine sends data to the NMEA-2000 network. For most of the data it will send, it is likely the Garmin display will be able to display the data being sent. However, many NMEA-2000 devices send data that is proprietary, and that data may not be useful on devices from another manufacturer (unless they have licensed use of the proprietary data). This is true with the E-TEC, too. The Garmin display may not be able to receive some proprietary data from the E-TEC that could be shown on an Evinrude display.

DeeVee posted 03-08-2014 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     

Thanks for the quick replies. I was pretty sure it was compatible with NMEA 2000. I appreciate the confirmation.

Concerning the power and data connections, I have not studied the manuals closely yet, as I have other projects ongoing that must be sequenced ahead of the final installation of the electronics. Projects such as building a teak cabinet to house the units on the center console, patching the millions of existing holes in the console and transom, and buffing out the gelcoat on the console, etc.

The Garmin units are a 740s I plan to use as my stand alone chart plotter and a 547xs to be used as my stand alone sonar. Eventually, I would like to have the capability to have both units be back up to each other for chart plotter and sonar. I would need to acquire a second transducer for this to be possible, so that will be a future upgrade. I would like to have both units included in the NMEA 2000 network so I could use either one to display engine data if that is possible.

I have an older Standard Horizon DSC capable VHF that was interconnected with the just removed Standard Horizon chart plotter (model numbers escape me at the moment). I believe these units utilize the older NMEA 0183 protocol. I noticed that the 740s has 0183 compatibility, so I plan to connect the older VHF to the 740s. This radio is a backup to my new Standard Horizon VHF with integral GPS capability.

I assume the 740s can send/receive information via NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 simultaneously? I understand that this is a pretty specific question that may be more of a question for Garmin support, but thought I would present it for the collective consideration.

I assume the network specific backbone and connection parts would need to be acquired from Evinrude and Garmin. Would this be more of a internet shopping exercise or through local Evinrude/Garmin dealers?

I like the local Evinrude dealer shop, but they do not seem to be real familiar with the latest technology. They are a small, but real busy local shop. When I asked them questions about the modern gauges available back when I was rigging my engine, they had to open up thick catalogs and study and scratch their heads a lot. About all they could definately tell me was it would be pretty expensive to do.

I apologize for the long post, but do appreciate the interest.

Thank you,

Doug Vazquez

DeeVee posted 03-08-2014 10:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     

Concerning display of engine data, I suppose the display device documentation would inform me what information can be displayed from which source?


DeeVee posted 03-08-2014 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     
I just did some reading and it looks like I should be able to display engine data on the 740s at least, if not the 547xs.

Thanks again,


jimh posted 03-08-2014 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If a device has both NMEA-0183 interfaces and a NMEA-2000 interface, it almost always can operate them both simultaneously. I cannot think of any exceptions in any gear I know about.

If you connect your radio to a chart plotter via NMEA-0183, the radio and chart plotter can exchange data. If the chart plotter also has a NMEA-2000 connection, you should not assume that the data from the radio via NMEA-0183 will be shared to the NMEA-2000 network. To accomplish that sort of relaying of the data requires a protocol convertor, which will handle both the electrical conversion of the signals from one protocol to the other, and also the data conversion. The NMEA-0183 and NMEA-2000 networks send their data in different data sets. It is possible to convert from one format to the other, but this typically cannot be done by a chart plotter. A specialized device is needed.

If you wanted the data from the radio to be available on both chart plotters, you would have to wire both chart plotter NMEA-0183 LISTENER ports to the radio's NMEA-0183 TALKER port. If you wanted the radio to get data from both chart plotters, you would have to wire the two TALKER ports, one from each radio, to two LISTENER ports on a multiplexer, and then connect the multiplexer TALKER port to the LISTENER port on the radio. I don't recommend doing that because both chart plotters might be sending position data that is slightly different, and the radio would be getting a stream of two position data signals that were not always in agreement. If you wanted the second chart plotter to be available as a back up to the first for sending data to the radio, I suggest you include some sort of switch or make the connection on plugs that could be easily changed.

jimh posted 03-08-2014 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Most of the data from the E-TEC comes in two standard PGN sets. See

NMEA-2000 Parameter Groups

The Garmin will show all of that data, I am sure. What it may not show is a proprietary PGN data set that announces something unique to the E-TEC, which might be a diagnostic message. I do not have a detailed list of those proprietary messages. (If I had them, I would write an article about them.) My understanding is the proprietary PGN data sets might be something like "S.A.F.E mode enabled" or something similar. (I don't know for a fact that my example is true.)

The standard data is in

PGN 127488: Engine Parameters, Rapid Update


PGN 127489: Engine Parameters, Dynamic

The E-TEC does not send a value for every category in those PGN specification. It omits data for parameters it does not have, such as the oil pressure in a pressurized lubrication system.

DeeVee posted 03-09-2014 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     
I am currently shopping for an NMEA 2000 engine interface cable. I haven't seen anything but 15' cables available. I don't think a 15' cable will reach the console of my 1989 Outrage.

If a longer cable is not available, I suppose I could route the cable under the gunnel cap and make the transition to a drop cable beneath the cap.

Has anyone heard of a longer cable and if so, where might I find it?

Thank you,

Doug Vazquez

jimh posted 03-09-2014 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There is a maximum length for a drop cable in the NMEA-2000 specifications. Because of that requirement, you may not be able to find engine drop cables longer than about 15-feet.

I believe a typical installation of NMEA-2000 would extend the network backbone wiring to the stern of the boat, and the engine drop cable would attach there. The network backbone can be extended to much greater length (over 200-feet) than could be found on a small boat.

DeeVee posted 03-09-2014 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     

I understand now.

One end of the network backbone would be terminated at the "T" the engine connects to. Then use a backbone cable to reach the console from there.

I guess I could make this connection under the gunnel cap where it would be somewhat protected from water spray.

It appears that the engine interface kit includes a terminator. Can you confirm this Jim, or anyone else?

Thanks again,

Doug Vazquez

jimh posted 03-09-2014 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Usually the terminators are only part of a starter kit or sold separately.

Often devices which are to be connected to the network are sold with a Network-T connector included with the device. But that is not a hard and fast rule.

I have never seen a device intended to be connected to the network sold with a terminator.

The term "terminator" refers to the resistive terminators added at the ends of a network backbone. They are usually sold in pairs, one with a male gender connector and the other with a female.

DeeVee posted 03-09-2014 10:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     
Thanks Jim. I think two terminators are included in a "starter kit".

Here's another question:

I am flush mounting both of the Garmin units in a teak cabinet. Both units have internal antennas, but I am not optimistic that the antennas will be able to receive satellite signals buried inside the cabinet. If I connect an external antenna to the 740s and the 740s is connected to an NMEA 2000 network, would everything on the network have access to the position data through the 740s?

I was thinking about connecting an NMEA 2000 compatible Garmin receiver/antenna to the NMEA 2000 network to overcome the problem created by the flush mounting of the display units, but a simple GPS antenna is 1/3 the cost of a GPS receiver/antenna. If the other devices can use the data provided by the simple antenna connected to the 740s GPS receiver on the NMEA 2000 network, it would be a more economical route to take, so to speak;).

I suppose there would be a certain amount of additional redundancy with the NMEA 2000 connected receiver/antenna that would be advantageous. Without the additional receiver on the network I would not have a true GPS backup if the 740s goes on the blink while underway.

Thoughts on the subject are appreciated.

Thank you,

Doug Vazquez

jimh posted 03-09-2014 10:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you have a chart plotter, say your Garmin 740s, on a NMEA-2000 network, the internal GNSS receiver in the chart plotter will be sending its position data to the NMEA-2000 network, unless you find some configuration setting that can disable it.

Once data is sent on the NMEA-2000 network, any device that can read that data may use it, if that device is configured to use that data coming from another device. Another chart plotter, for example, could be configured to prefer to use boat position data from an external source rather than from its own internal GNSS receiver. (I am assuming the maker of the device provided the appropriate controls to accomplish this.)

I checked the Garmin 740s literature: it actually has an option for an external antenna that is just an antenna. Boaters often talk about external antennas when they are really talking about separate stand-alone receivers.

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